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Domain Mapping on the Commons

cc-licensed image "Needs beget New URLs, Old URLs need redirecting" by flickr user psd

cc-licensed image “Needs beget New URLs, Old URLs need redirecting” by flickr user psd

Is Domain Mapping Right for You?

Do you or your organization have a specific domain you want to use, but would still like to host your WordPress site on the Commons?

Mapping your domain to a site on the Commons makes it accessible via both your domain url and your Common’s site URL.

What is domain mapping?

Domain mapping is a way for you to use a domain name that you’ve purchased (usually around $15.00 per year) and point it to the host where your content resides (i.e. the Commons).  So your site on the Commons can be accessed via the standard Commons URL (yoursite.commons.gc.cuny.edu) – but it will switch to URL you have purchased.  People can access your site via either URL, but the URL always resolves to the URL that you have purchased.  On the Commons, hosting is free, so if you pick this route (and it is totally optional) you will only be paying for the domain you purchased. There are no other hosting charges.

A Couple Examples

Please note that the Domain Mapping discussed on this page does not relate to URL shorteners, or “Quick Links”.   If you want to create a  quick link to your site (i.e. “cuny.is/mysite”), please refer to this page

Nor does it relate to URL redirects, which are also an option (For example, the NYC Nursing Education Consortium in Technology’s domain: http://www.nycnect.org is redirected to a site on the Commons: https://nycnect.commons.gc.cuny.edu/).

Getting Started

It’s a two step process:

  1. Contact the Commons.  We’ll need to know what you’re planning and register the mapped domain on the Commons, so that WordPress knows to expect it.  Please use the form below to get the process rolling.  We’ll get back to you to coordinate.
  2. Contact your Domain Registrar.  Specific instructions for changing DNS settings vary widely.  Basically you’ll need to point your domain name to your Commons WordPress site URL. When mapping a domain name, point CNAME records to commons.gc.cuny.edu ( No change should be made to A records.

Domain Mapping Request Form

Use the following form to let us know about your plans to map your domain to the Commons, or optionally, contact us at support@cunycommons.zendesk.com

Your Name (required)

Brief Description (optional)

Domain You Want to Map (begin with http://) - this is the domain that you own

Target URL (begin with http://) - this is the WordPress site on the Commons that you want your domain to redirect to

Approximate Go Live Date (required)

Your email


Please enter the characters you see above.

CUNY.IS Quick Links

Members can set up easy-to-remember, short URLs that link to their profiles, sites, groups, docs, or posts.  Once set up, the urls will all begin with “http://cuny.is/

On a member’s Commons Portfolio, there is an automated way to do this, using the textbox shown below.  Quick Links for Commons Portfolios will initially be populated with members’ usernames, but the dialog below lets members change the URL to something else, as long as it is not already taken.

short URL 2

Other Ways You Might Use Quick Links

  • http://cuny.is/yourGroup
  • http://cuny.is/yourDoc
  • http://cuny.is/yourEventsHomePage
  • http://cuny.is/yourSite

To set up one of these types of CUNY.IS quick links, please email the Commons team.

How to Shorten a URL

If you’re on Twitter you have probably selected a link similar to http://tiny.cc/xphnk which redirects you to the much longer URL https://apicciano.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2010/07/20/e-books-outselling-hardcover-books-at-amazon-com/. You may ask yourself – how is this done? Well look no further!

There are many free web services that will take your lengthy URLs and shorten them for you. This not only allows frees up more characters for your Twitter post, but generally makes it easier to cut and paste URLs into emails, text messages, chats, etc…

Some of these services out there are:

To use Tiny URL as an example, you would simply paste the URL that you wish to be shortened into the big box then select ‘tiny!’. Once the shortened URL is generated you can use it however you’d like and also monitor stats.

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